While we’d all love nothing more than to let our wedding day flow naturally and just see what happens, the truth is, it just wouldn’t work. There’s a lot happening on a wedding day and many factors to think about, so having a plan is really the only way to help the day run as smoothly as possible, allowing you to kick back, relax and enjoy it all! Here are our key pointers on how to plan a stress-free wedding day timeline.
Picture the scene. You’ve got this idea that you’ll show up to the ceremony around 5pm, there will be some food and photos afterwards and then you’ll just party on into the night. It’s all very calm and relaxing and zen, right? But then, the officiant lets you know they have a strict 30-minute window to do your ceremony, and the venue tells you they’ll need the ceremony space back by a particular time so your guests must be seated for dinner by this time. And a couple of days before the wedding, you realize you’ve booked transport for 30 minutes before the ceremony when it’s going to actually take 45 minutes to get you there! It’s a nightmare that no couple needs to deal with.
That’s why we totally recommend putting together a wedding day timeline. An outline that covers what’ll be happening and when, factors things in like traveling to the ceremony and reception locations, and lets you know exactly how long certain things will take.
Believe us when we say you’ll be pleased you had a plan!
Start with the main event – your ceremony – and work your way out from there. This is a fixed time and, if you’ve hired an officiant, they are likely going to need to stick to that time as closely as possible.
Once you know the time of the ceremony, you can work backwards from there. Are you going to need to travel to the ceremony location? If so, how long is that going to take (don’t forget to allow for traffic)? Will you have a first look? If so, where will that happen? How long will you need to get ready in the morning? What time should the hairdresser and makeup artist arrive?
Now let’s go beyond the ceremony. What time is dinner planned for? How much time is there for photographs? Are you moving to a new venue for the reception? And so on.
Asking these questions will help you figure out what blocks of time you need to factor in. You’ll have a solid timeline before you know it!
It wouldn’t be a wedding if something didn’t go wrong, right? Obviously nothing too serious, but a broken button or getting stuck in traffic can be enough to delay the timeline significantly. Factor in buffer time to allow for things going wrong, especially pre-ceremony. A good tip is to actually be ready and dressed at least 20 minutes before you depart for the first look or ceremony, that way there’s plenty of time to deal with any unforeseen situations.
So many couples forget to add in a bit of alone time on their wedding day… believe us when we say you’ll need that little bit of time!
Of course, it’s super lovely to be around all your friends and family who are happy for you and want to celebrate with you. But it’s important, too, to have a few moments together by yourselves to breathe, let the moment sink in and just be together. Make sure you block out a little time in your day to do that.
Once you’ve got a good idea of timings for everything, make sure you share it with all the vendors and suppliers involved in your day, as well as with your wedding party. No doubt they’ll ask you anyway, but try to get this information to them as early as possible so they can make sure they’re prepared too.
There aren’t too many people who will spend your entire wedding day with you, from the time you’re getting ready in the morning right through until you’re dancing the night away. But your photographers do! And we’ve done more than a few weddings over the last decade, so there’s a whole lot of advice and help we can offer when it comes to planning out your day. In which case, ask us!
At the end of the day, if things do run over time a little, don’t panic about it. This is your day and it literally can’t go on without the two of you!
DETROIT BASED HUSBAND AND WIFE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM.
WE BELIEVE THAT LOVE IS LOVE, REGARDLESS OF ITS SHAPE OR FORM. WE AIM TO PROVIDE A SAFE, INCLUSIVE AND DIVERSE SPACE FOR ALL OUR COUPLES.